Off Topic Forums > Off Topic Forum

Whom Does A Hermaphrodite Wed ?


I just received this;

Sent: Sat, 29 Jul 2006 1:00 PM
Subject: To Whom.

Dear Justice Barbara Madsen,
Many people still believe in the story that some god went into a garden and
created a man called Adam, and then a woman called Eve. The woman had to
wait her turn, of course.  And children love the part about the apple and
snake.  It is an easy story; it is likeable.   Black and white, it is
These naive people are uncomfortable with what is complex. Instead of
looking at the facts before them, they conjure up a story that is easy to
understand.  They are people of faith, after all, and they castigate the
people of fact. They shun science and what biology tells us is true.  These
people would rather ignore and turn away from fascinating discoveries in
front of them, such as the more complicated story of who we are as mammals,
what it means to be members of the species called homo sapiens.  They make
fun.  They make fun of.  And with ineffable offense, these people flinch
when asked a fundamental human question such as:  "To whom does a
hermaphrodite wed?"
As I type this, I can see you, too, flinch. I can see all the vestiges of
your prejudice, coiled and striking.  It is discomforting to think of those
things we have been taught are uncomfortable.  But that question does not
dither, and it is not hyperbole if it involves a citizen of our esteemed
Republic you are charged with protecting.
The question, in its anecdote and universality, is as pertinent now as it
was at the dawn of the Miocene, when the earliest hominids looked out across
the Middle Awash Valley in Ethiopia.   That question and all knowledge in
the scientific literatures dealing with gender, chromosomes, hormones,
sexual orientation, and identity - are all too difficult and scary for most
people to comprehend. They would rather think of a hermaphrodite as circus
freak show.  You know the ones, the bearded ladies.  The naive thinkers
can't see behind the circus tent that a truly amazing human condition
exists.  If you have dared to read this far, look them in the eye, the
hermaphrodite who is as human as you.  You are members of the same species,
after all, with the same desire to love and be loved.  They have the same
desire to reach up, in the last rhythms of breath, and touch the tender
cheek of their dearly beloved.  In your power, you have passed judgment on
them: condemnation on members of your species you donšt even understand.  In
their wisdom, they stare back at you with epochal sadness.
Likewise, the simple-minded people would rather think of the two lesbians
who have lived together for 49 years and want to be married in the final
days before they expire - as just a minority status, aberrational, sinners.
Worse yet, the simple-minded people don't want to think of them at all:
hermaphrodites don't exist, homosexuality is unnatural.  After living
tortured lives, your fellow humans have found harmony and respite in the
gentle embrace of their companion.  You have condemned their embrace while
denying its very existence.
Today, you ignored the fascinating complexities of biology, you found your
refuge in the binary story of Adam and Eve.  You ignored the scientific
questions of who we are as a species - a multinomial spectrum of people made
up of individual lives - and you chose the un-evolved, easy, untrue story of
who we are. You were duped, and your opinion perpetuates the lie.
The tears stream down upon this page, as many as the questions I implore:
How does history treat Oscar Wilde's accusers?  How does history see the
imprisonment of Leonardo da Vinci? Historically, how was Paragraph 175 of
the German Criminal Code used?  Where were the judges, in their long black
robes?  Where were you?
So many questions you turn away from, with discomfort and prejudice, because
after all, you have a stack of mail to open on your desk.  A busy schedule
for the day.  In your mind, it's all settled:  Adam and Eve. Case is closed.
With the stroke of your pen, you turned your back on our human species and
your intellectual investigation of who we really are.
However, Justice Madsen, history is never kind to the injudicious.  Forever
you will be haunted by the pain you have inflicted upon your fellow humans,
and this question,
"To whom does a hermaphrodite wed?"

Thought to ponder


[0] Message Index

Go to full version